The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has launched Digital Police Portal under the Crime and Criminal Tracking Network & Systems (CCTNS) project to create a national database of crimes and criminals as a resource for all stakeholders including the policy makers. The website will allow users to:
- File FIR online: The portal will enable citizens to register FIRs online and will also allow person and address verification for purposes such as employee, tenants, nurses etc, permission for hosting public events, lost & found articles and vehicle theft etc. These services will be available in 34 States & UTs.
- Online passport verification: Besides, the portal will enable restricted access to law enforcement agencies on topics such as Antecedent Verification and make assessment of FIRs- this will do away the need of physical police verification for getting a passport.
- Vehicle registrations: The database under CCTNS portal will be linked with the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MORTH) database for vehicle registrations.
- Police reports: For police, the portal allows advanced search capabilities and analytical reports
The CCTNS will also be linked with National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) , an attached office of MHA. CCTNS once fully functional, will allow a search for a criminal/suspect on a national database apart from providing various services to the citizens through Citizen Portal.
In future, the portal will connect to police, courts, prosecution, prisons and forensic labs into an Interoperable Criminal Justice System (ICJS) for facilitating data exchange between the stakeholders of criminal justice system.
NCRB also compiles and publishes National Crime Statistics i.e. Crime in India, Accidental Deaths & Suicides, Prison Statistics and Finger Prints, which are reference points by policy makers, police, criminologists, researchers and media both in India and abroad.
NCRB has also floated various IT-based Public Services like Vahan Samanvyay (online Motor Vehicle Matching), Talash (matching of missing persons and dead bodies). In addition, NCRB also maintains Counterfeit Currency Information and Management System (FICN) and Colour Portrait Building System (CBPS).
The Central Finger Print Bureau is also embedded in NCRB and is a national repository of all fingerprints in the country and has around one million fingerprints database of criminals, which provides for search facility on FACTS (Fingerprint Analysis and Criminal Tracing System). This means going ahead, the digital police portal will be a database for all the repository contained by the NCRB for authorized people.
The user interface of the website looks smooth. We tried to report a crime via the portal. To do the same, one has to sign up. The signup process is easy (took 30 seconds to complete), as you need to provide full name, email ID, mobile number, and either of the ID number- Aadhar, Passport, PAN, Driving Licence, or Election card. Upon filling up the details, you will receive an OTP to go ahead. Once done successfully, your account is created on the portal. A citizen can now record a crime as a victim or for others as well, can request a verification, and avail other services. The portal performs fast and has an easy and clutter-free user interface.
CCTNS story so far
The Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said in a statement that at present 15,398 police stations are under the CCTNS project, and 14,284 police stations are using CCTNS software, and 13,775 police stations are generating online FIRs. He added that out of 36 States/UTs, 35 States/UTs are sharing CCTNS database containing seven crore records that includes 2.5 crore FIRs. The MHA has released Rs 1,450 crore, out of which Rs 1,086 crores has been spent by States/UTs.
CCTNS Project was conceived by Ministry of Home Affairs in 2009, for inter-linking all police stations under a common application software for the purpose of investigation, data analytics and providing citizen services.
Till now the ministry was running a project called the Common Integrated Police Application (CIPA) that aimed at computerization of criminal records in police stations on a stand-alone basis. Realizing the need for setting up of a national database of crime records to facilitate research and policy making, CCTNS was conceived, according the the police portal.
The total outlay of the project is Rs 2,000 crore. The Central Government is providing funds to States/UTs for hardware, CCTNS software, connectivity, system integration, data digitization, project management and manpower training.